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Is Job Enrichment Really Enriching?

Author

Listed:
  • Robert D. Mohr

    () (University of New Hampshire)

  • Cindy Zoghi

    () (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Abstract

This study uses a survey of Canadian workers with rich, matched data on job characteristics to examine whether “enriched” job design, with features like quality circles, feedback, suggestion programs, and task teams, affects job satisfaction. We identify two competing hypotheses on the relationship between enriched jobs and job satisfaction. The “motivation hypothesis,” implies that enrichment will generally increase satisfaction and the “intensification hypothesis,” implies that enrichment may decrease satisfaction by increasing the intensity and scope of work. Our results show that several forms of enrichment, specifically suggestion programs, information sharing, task teams, quality circles and training, raise satisfaction. Therefore we argue that the data support the motivation hypothesis. Partitioning the data by education level or union membership further supports this conclusion, while a direct test of the intensification hypothesis does not support the competing hypothesis.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert D. Mohr & Cindy Zoghi, 2006. "Is Job Enrichment Really Enriching?," Working Papers 389, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
  • Handle: RePEc:bls:wpaper:ec060010
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Michael E. Gordon & Angelo S. Denisi, 1995. "A Re-Examination of the Relationship between Union Membership and Job Satisfaction," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 48(2), pages 222-236, January.
    2. Freeman, Richard B, 1978. "Job Satisfaction as an Economic Variable," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 68(2), pages 135-141, May.
    3. Andrew Clark & Yannis Georgellis & Peter Sanfey, "undated". "Job Satisfaction, Wage changes and Quits: Evidence from Germany," Economics and Finance Discussion Papers 98-06, Economics and Finance Section, School of Social Sciences, Brunel University.
    4. Ichniowski, Casey & Shaw, Kathryn & Prennushi, Giovanna, 1997. "The Effects of Human Resource Management Practices on Productivity: A Study of Steel Finishing Lines," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(3), pages 291-313, June.
    5. Clark, Andrew E. & Oswald, Andrew J., 1996. "Satisfaction and comparison income," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(3), pages 359-381, September.
    6. Paul Osterman, 1994. "How Common is Workplace Transformation and Who Adopts it?," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 47(2), pages 173-188, January.
    7. Robert Drago & Mark Wooden, 1992. "The Determinants of Labor Absence: Economic Factors and Workgroup Norms across Countries," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 45(4), pages 764-778, July.
    8. Bauer, Thomas K., 2004. "High Performance Workplace Practices and Job Satisfaction: Evidence from Europe," IZA Discussion Papers 1265, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    9. Derek C. Jones & Takao Kato, 2003. "The Effect of Employee Involvment on Firm Performance: Evidence from an Econometric Case Study," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 2003-612, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
    10. Donna Brown & Steven McIntosh, 2003. "Job satisfaction in the low wage service sector," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(10), pages 1241-1254.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:hal:journl:hal-00710213 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Maëlezig Bigi & Nathalie Greenan & Sylvie Hamon-Cholet & Joseph Lanfranchi, 2012. "Changements organisationnels et évolution du vécu au travail des salariés : une comparaison entre secteur privé et Fonction publique d'Etat," Working Papers halshs-00979650, HAL.
    3. Nathalie Greenan & Edward Lorenz, 2009. "Learning Organisations: the importance of work organisation for innovation," Working Papers halshs-01376968, HAL.
    4. Maëlezig Bigi & Nathalie Greenan & Sylvie Hamon-Cholet & Joseph Lanfranchi, 2012. "Changements organisationnels et évolution du vécu au travail : une comparaison entre secteur privé et fonction publique d'Etat," Working Papers hal-00710213, HAL.
    5. Federica Origo & Laura Pagani, 2006. "Is Work Flexibility a Stairway to Heaven? The Story Told by Job Satisfaction in Europ," Working Papers 97, University of Milano-Bicocca, Department of Economics, revised Jun 2006.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Job Satisfaction; Job Enrichment; Human Resource Practices;

    JEL classification:

    • J28 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Safety; Job Satisfaction; Related Public Policy
    • M54 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Labor Management
    • J24 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Human Capital; Skills; Occupational Choice; Labor Productivity

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